Human Price of Forest Destruction Paid in Plague
Deforestation to expand agricultural lands may be doing more than contributing to carbon emissions; it could also be exposing more people to diseases like the "Black Death," which devastated populations in the Middle Ages.
NPR's Goats and Soda
Good News: More Crops! Bad News: More Plague!
Africa needs more food. And to get more food, you need more farmland. There's a relatively simple solution — it's called "land conversion," and it can mean creating new fields to grow crops next to fragments of forest. Only there's a catch. The rats of the forest are drawn to the crops of the farmland — and to the grains that farmers often store outside their homes. And those rats can carry the bacteria that causes plague — the very same plague responsible for claiming millions of lives during the Middle Ages.
New York Times
A Rare Form of Malaria Is Spreading in Malaysia
This research was presented by Balbir Singh, the director of malaria research at the University of Malaysia at Sarawak, at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in New Orleans.
Al Jazeera America
Kissing bug disease creeps into US, but symptoms often missed
Hundreds of thousands of people in the United States have been infected with the potentially fatal kissing bug disease, but U.S. health care workers’ lack of awareness often prevents successful diagnosis and treatment, according to a report released this week.
The Times (South Africa)
Putting bite on snake venom
Scientists testing a DNA swab were able to identify the species that had bitten someone 100% of the time. Now they are in the process of developing a rapid diagnostic dip stick for snakebite victims. The study was conducted at three medical facilities in Nepal - a country with a high incidence of snakebite.
Another horrific tropical disease is making headway in the U.S.
Doctors with recent, first-hand experience treating the only disease anyone wants to talk about right now were barred from attending a major medical conference, leaving the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene a bit light on the Ebola this year. Fortunately, the researchers who did attend had plenty of other scary, tropical diseases to discuss, like Chagas, an emerging threat that most Americans don’t see coming.
Some Ebola Patients Should Get Placebo in Drug Tests: FDA
Some Ebola patients need to forgo potentially life-saving treatments so researchers can see how they fare compared to people who get the experimental drugs, a Food and Drug Administration official said today.
Test de DNA para mordidas de serpientes
A medical team is collecting genetic information to identify snake bites, a neglected tropical disease. (Translated with Google Translate)
Motherboard (VICE News)
Deforestation Is Clearing the Way for a Rare Monkey-Borne Malaria
In research presented today at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene annual meeting, [Dr. Balbir Singh, director of the Malaria Research Center at the University of Malaysia in Sarawak] explained how the parasite Plasmodium knowlesi has grown from being a minor cause of malaria in Malaysian Borneo to causing some 68 percent of malaria hospitalizations in the region last year.